Veteran news anchor Sam Donaldson, formerly of ABC News, aggressively called out White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders for pervasively lying on behalf of President Donald Trump, Slate reports. While Donaldson acknowledges that no press secretary is 100 percent truthful and forthcoming, the sheer volume of lies that he says comes from Sanders is remarkable.
“Look, I’ve had the pleasure of working with almost every press secretary beginning with Pierre Salinger in John F. Kennedy’s administration and, except for Ron Ziegler who lied for Richard Nixon, I’ve never seen anything like this with Sarah Sanders,” Donaldson said.
He then went on to point out that even though a press secretary for an embattled administration might lie a lot about something controversial, like Ziegler did with Nixon’s Watergate scandal, they would generally be truthful on other topics. In contrast, according to Donaldson, Sanders lies about almost everything, saying that she is deserving of “a lifetime achievement Oscar for lying.”
“Sarah Sanders simply lies about everything,” he said. “Not just one thing.”
On the other hand, Donaldson did not at all place the blame on Sanders herself, indicating that ultimately, she was simply “taking a cue from her boss,” the president.
Further tempering his remarks about Sanders, Donaldson did acknowledge that he did not know her personally and that he, in fact, feels “a little sorry for her,” as a person taking cues from Trump.
Yet even as Donaldson shifts the blame on the lack of truth in the administration, he also calls out the insidious consequences of lies which, on the surface, seem almost inconsequential, The problem, he says, is that lying so frequently and about so much effectively erodes the public’s interest in knowing or caring about what is true and what is not.
Sam Donaldson has never seen a White House press secretary lie quite like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. https://t.co/gKdoFgjbiM
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) April 27, 2019
Donaldson’s comments were made in response to a claim by Trump that he is “the most transparent president ever,” even as he openly opposes congressional oversight in the form of subpoenas and requests for documents related to the Trump administration and Trump personally.
Currently, the president is navigating a number of demands for documents and testimony following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. As a result, Congress has issued subpoenas for Trump’s financial information, demanded information about how White House security clearances were issued early in the administration, and questioned the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, to say nothing of congressional demands for a complete and unreacted version of the Mueller report itself.